Email Basics

January 30, 2008

Here are a few tips on sending emails.

  • Always use the subject line relevant to the topic when sending an email. If the topic changes as you correspond back and forth, edit the Subject line accordingly.
  • Do not use all upper case letters when writing an email. It is the equivalent of shouting.
  • Refrain from using sarcasm and in some cases, humor, as they can be easily misinterpreted.
  • Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms unless you are certain the recipient knows the meaning. (Unfortunately, I used IMHO which caused the recipient to ponder a series of possible meanings before actually asking what it meant! IMHO = in my humble opinion.)
  • It is best to request permission from the recipient before sending email with large attachments or numerous large emails. The capacity limits of some inboxes can reach the maximum in the blink of an eye. Believe it – not everyone has high-speed internet, even today. It’s still unavailable in some rural areas (although there are a few excruciatingly high cost alternatives).
  • IMPORTANT: When forwarding an email, take a moment to delete the previous addressees. The only exception is when you want your recipient(s) to see the thread associated with email for informational purposes.keyboard
  • IMPORTANT: Use the blind carbon copy (BCC) when sending email to multiple people. It is considered impolite to list everyone in the TO: field. Additionally, you should consider the issue of privacy. As a rule of thumb, use the BCC field unless there is a specific reason (project management, etc.) others need to know who you are addressing.
  • People expect a quicker response with email messaging. Be sure to check your email regularly. Use an auto-respond message if you will not be checking email for several days (while on vacation, etc).
  • Spell check an email before you hit the send button.
  • Avoid discussing sensitive or confidential information.
  • Be professional and concise with your content.
  • If your message is lengthy, break it into paragraphs or even better, separate emails.

These are the tips at the forefront of my mind at this moment. I hope you find them to be useful.

Jan ~EVA~ Electronic Virtual Assistant

In my opinion, when it comes to email, there are few things more frustrating than receiving those “must forward” messages.

Let me assure you, if you receive an email and DO NOT forward it…

  • bad luck will not fall upon you
  • your long lost love will not mysteriously call
  • your computer will not spontaneously combust

And, no matter how compelling it sounds…

  • Bill Gates and Microsoft will never send you any amount of money for forwarding an email
  • neither Ford nor GMC will give you a 10 percent discount if you forward an email to 10 people within 10 minutes
  • there is no pending Congressional bill to charge you five cents or pay you per email you forward so don’t do it

Do not let others guilt you into forwarding email by calling your true friendship or your belief in Jesus Christ into question.

Stop the madness. Be a responsible internet email user. If you would like to verify the legitimacy of information received, there are several hoax-buster sites – my favorite is If an email has been forwarded to you with the disclaimer, “I don’t know if this is true or not…” provide the Sender with the Snopes web link.

Let me wrap up by saying it is very important to keep up to date virus protection on your computer. If you do not recognize a Sender by name, do not open the email or click on links within email you receive. Not everyone plays nice and there are people on the world-wide web with nothing better to do then to create havoc. For the most part, if you practice smart internet exploration, you will be fine.

Happy Surfing!